(WKBN) – Almost everyone familiar with the building that houses the marina at Mosquito Lake State Park agrees it’s time to replace it. It’s why the state of Ohio, through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is constructing a new building. To get it done, the old building will have to close in one month.
Right now, the sign outside the building indicates it’ll close on Sept. 6 — two months earlier than normal because a new building is being constructed.
“So it’ll have a grand opening. It’ll have picnic tables out front all under an awning,” said park manager Josie McKenna.
McKenna walked us through the project, showing us pictures of what the new building will look like.
“Well, the building right now, for anyone that’s seen the marina, is very small and the concessionaire Joe and Kathy have really put a lot of retail items into such a small space. So we’re going to be tripling that space for them,” McKenna said.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Joe Sofchek.
Sofchek and his wife Kathy have run the marina for 21 years. It has no heat and no air conditioning but it’s stuffed full with everything for a day on the lake.
“You know, for a one-car garage, we did some business out of there, met a lot of friends in there. The people we’ve talked to, a lot of them said the same thing, it kind of had some nostalgia to it, you know?” Sofchek said.
The $2 million project will also include new flush toilets, a new ADA-accessible fueling dock and relocating the fueling tank that’s currently on the shoreline obstructing views, which McKenna never liked.
“No, no. It’s an eyesore right on the shoreline. We’re going to be moving that out of your view completely,” McKenna said.
There will be no food service in the new building, so the Sofcheks’ food truck will go at the end of the new building.
“We’ve been here 21 years in this building and it’s been great to us. I hate to lose a good friend but it’s time for a new look,” Sofchek said.
“It’s a very large project and we are really excited to see it begin and to take place and take shape,” McKenna said.
The Sofcheks’ retail store, the fueling dock and the food stand are what will be closing after Labor Day. The docks in the marina will remain open.
Construction will start in the fall and continue into the spring. It’s hoped everything will be done by Memorial Day next year.